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The Official Review Discussion Thread
https://forum.metal-archives.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7444
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Author:  Derigin [ Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Dembo wrote:
Diamhea wrote:
You guys take the bait. Every, single, time.

Why would moderators accept reviews they see as baits, rather than only accepting mature efforts? Not that you necessarily accepted that particular review, but it may be a relevant question. And any non-profit (non-traffic-obsessed) site of this sort would benefit in quality from respecting mature efforts by rejecting immature ones. And one thing that I'm sure most people would file under immature is baits.

For a variety of reasons (eg. as a directive of the owners, trying to keeping it simple, and limiting subjective assessments of the reviewer's opinions, etc.) our standards for judging reviews are fairly basic.

We require that reviews describe, above all, the music of the album. There isn't really a threshold as far as what "describe" in that context means, but it usually implies that the reviewer spends the majority of the review explaining their opinion on how the album sounds, and that the opinion they give is backed up and contextualized. We require that the review is written well and formatted correctly in English. We can be pretty anal on this one, but the underlying belief with this requirement is that the review must be easy to read and that the way it is written shouldn't take away from what is being written - one reason why track-by-tracks are generally discouraged (on top of those type of reviews also usually lacking description). Lastly we require the review to be a genuine opinion. We'll generally judge reviews as genuine unless proven otherwise. This one is a tough one to crack down on too hard; what is one person's genuine opinion might be outrageous (ie. "bait") to another person. Generally, we usually only aim for glaring examples where reviews are not genuine (eg. obvious trolls, gimmicks, jokes, etc).

There are a lot of regulars here - moderators included - who would love more stringent rules on what is deemed acceptable for MA. But, at the end of the day, it's not up to us. The rules have evolved, as far as how we approach the aforementioned standards, but the standards themselves are unlikely to change. And, we can only operate within the confines of those standards.

Author:  Diamhea [ Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Nice, review queue has been cleared!

Author:  Wilytank [ Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Wilytank a while ago talking about Wintersun wrote:
Are we going to go through another round of just people submitting reviews with polarizing opinions and giving this album more attention than it needs?


For context, in over two months, The Forest Seasons has more reviews than Ensiferum's self-titled, and Wintersun's discography overall has more reviews than Ensiferum's. Conclusion: Jari has successfully garnered more attention than his previous band and could probably use that to justify him leaving. Wintersun: more saunas than Markus Toivonen will ever experience.

Author:  Smoking_Gnu [ Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Cheers to Mateilkrist for giving the new Aborym album a much-deserved thrashing. I hate seeing how far that band has fallen these days.

Wilytank wrote:
Wintersun: more saunas than Markus Toivonen will ever experience.


The new Ensiferum music video has several scenes involving a sauna. I can't help but feel that was deliberate. :lol:

Author:  Diamhea [ Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

These recent burzum reviews have been pretty painful, but that one today is such a longwinded, redundant... experience.

Author:  Morn Of Solace [ Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Oh god. Burzum reviews are a minefield in general, but that one seems to come straight out from a diary :(

Author:  Diamhea [ Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Yeah, its funny because the moment im without regular internet access and have to moderate reviews on my phone, all of the
the longwinded, borderline Engrish n00bs come out of the woodwork... I spent nearly twenty minutes proofreading/fixing typos on one earlier and i lost connection without saving. Had to start over....

Author:  Liquid_Braino [ Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

It may be epic in length, but that Blessed Death review was a great read, especially for the history involved concerning the scene at that time. I didn't know some of that stuff. I can also somewhat relate to the last couple of paragraphs too, since I grew up around the same time and learned that the darker side of metal made for pretty good "bully repellent". Hell, even Metallica was considered "devil worship stuff" back then by a fair amount of students. I remember bringing to school the first two Venom LPs and some classmates were seriously freaked by the poems on the back covers. Fun times.

Author:  Felix 1666 [ Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

The new "Hell Awaits" review leaves me slightly confused. I have learned that it lies in close proximity to death metal (?). Moreover, the album is chaotic (?). And of course, the rating is too low...

Seriously, I do not share the point of view of Metal 1990, but it is the first review of this guy. So go on, young colleague, and take the next step.

Author:  Abominatrix [ Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I used to feel Bayern was The Technical Thrash Guy, and I knew that something he rated highly would probably be in that realm and probably pretty good at that. It seems now though that he's started to review a lot of other stuff. I can't begrudge him that; it's never good to be typecast, but I'm somehow a little disappointed all the same. It's like I lost my yard stick...

Author:  bayern [ Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Abominatrix wrote:
I used to feel Bayern was The Technical Thrash Guy, and I knew that something he rated highly would probably be in that realm and probably pretty good at that. It seems now though that he's started to review a lot of other stuff. I can't begrudge him that; it's never good to be typecast, but I'm somehow a little disappointed all the same. It's like I lost my yard stick...


Man, I keep receiving requests about reviewing works from the technical/progressive thrash roster, but there's so much technical/progressive metal that one can review. There's more coming in the future, definitely, but it seems as though the number of those efforts that are really worth checking out isn't that big anymore... I mean those gems from the 80's and the 90's cause those are the ones you have in mind, I presume?

Besides, there are other writers here who have done a fairly good job reviewing some of those, and I don't think I could contribute much more to what has already been written about them. Cheers.

Author:  bayern [ Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Abominatrix wrote:
I used to feel Bayern was The Technical Thrash Guy, and I knew that something he rated highly would probably be in that realm and probably pretty good at that. It seems now though that he's started to review a lot of other stuff. I can't begrudge him that; it's never good to be typecast, but I'm somehow a little disappointed all the same. It's like I lost my yard stick...



And, a good job on the "Killing Technology" review. Now I don't need to write one there... :)

"We are connected" indeed, in the cyber, Voivod-ian space...

Author:  Abominatrix [ Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

bayern wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
I used to feel Bayern was The Technical Thrash Guy, and I knew that something he rated highly would probably be in that realm and probably pretty good at that. It seems now though that he's started to review a lot of other stuff. I can't begrudge him that; it's never good to be typecast, but I'm somehow a little disappointed all the same. It's like I lost my yard stick...



And, a good job on the "Killing Technology" review. Now I don't need to write one there... :)

"We are connected" indeed, in the cyber, Voivod-ian space...


Cheers and thank you! My intention is to do more Voivod ones. That was always my intention, when I started with the 1st album in ... 2014? But life and things just get in the way and I'm not a reviewing machine anymore. Still, more coming.

And of course, I'm not really disappointed; I just enjoyed having so much tech thrash talk together in one place/from one point of view. You are right that the field is limited and you should continue to review all releases that strike your fancy one way or the other.

Author:  Acrobat [ Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Good to see you back, Abom. You reminded me that I half-finished Killing Technology review sat around. :P

Author:  Metal_Detector [ Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

This influx of positive Voivod reviews from some of the site's better writers pleases me.

Well, I dunno if two reviews is an influx, but you get my point. :P

Author:  Mateilkrist [ Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Smoking_Gnu wrote:
Cheers to Mateilkrist for giving the new Aborym album a much-deserved thrashing. I hate seeing how far that band has fallen these days.


This is the first time I've been to the forum in years, so thank you for the praise. I can't believe how awful Aborym has become; Fabban is basically treating "Aborym" as the well-known brand name to market fake industrial crap. I actually enjoyed a fair amount of Dirty, but it was not the direction I wanted to hear the band take. The new one is essentially every shitty aspect of that album squared, then cubed.

Author:  Twisted_Psychology [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I feel the need to call shenanigans on Caspian's Manilla Road review but I'm also a cat person so there's that.

Author:  Empyreal [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Yeah I guess he's right and I don't really enjoy Manilla Road or Shelton's vocals, I was just pretending to for street cred. Silly me.

Author:  caspian [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Hey now, I just said Crystal Logic in the review. Voyager has probably been my most played album of the last month or so. Mystification's pretty nice too. I even bought a patch when I bought Voyager.

But yeah, if you claim you like Shelton's vocals in CL that's definitely just a street cred thing. Am I being hyperbolic, or genuine? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure

Author:  Empyreal [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I think his vocals on CL are good. Just dumb to me to assume anyone's "intentions" or genuine-ness in enjoying art. I know it's hyperbole but it's still stupid.

Author:  Jonpo [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Trolling MR fans: mission accomplished. It made me angry, and I quit reading. You found a great way to attack it. To cheapen it and try to take the meaning away from it. To provoke. I'm sorry you don't dig the vocals. They're amazing.

Author:  Metantoine [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Empyreal wrote:
Yeah I guess he's right and I don't really enjoy Manilla Road or Shelton's vocals, I was just pretending to for street cred. Silly me.

Cat persons > Jesus persons

Author:  tomcat_ha [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

i like the vocals on crystal logic but i also realize that they are weird and very nerdy. At times he sounds a bit like hes presenting a radio programme from like 1930.

Author:  Xlxlx [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I also understand a dislike for Shelton's vocals, as they personally took a lot of getting used to before I fully got into MR. Saying that people fake liking them for street cred is pretty silly though.

Author:  megalowho [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Empyreal wrote:
Just dumb to me to assume anyone's "intentions" or genuine-ness in enjoying art. I know it's hyperbole but it's still stupid.


:nods:

Metantoine wrote:
Cat persons > Jesus persons


:nods:

Spoiler: show
Image


I was, however, regularly listening to Nadja a few years back, and I appreciate the reminder that they're still around. I'll be checking out that album with high expectations - thanks, caspian.

Author:  BastardHead [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Nah, Casp is right. Manilla Road is great at riffs and melodies and stuff like 50% of the time (they had a much better ratio through the original incarnation) but the vocals are, were, and always will be completely baffling garbage.

Author:  Abominatrix [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

The vocals may not be to everyone's taste, but of course they are great; most Manilla Road fans agree. And I am pretty sure Caspian knows that most people don't listen to music that they don't actually enjoy, or at least not for very long.

Tomcat, I don't know about "nerdy" (can something sound "nerdy"?), but your radio play analogy made me grin. that's pretty good. I like that a lot, actually.

Author:  Zelkiiro [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

The vocals are the thing I like most about Manilla Road... :(

Author:  Empyreal [ Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I always feel like people who bash Shelton's vocals want everything to sound like Painkiller, super virtuosic and aggressive or nothing. I know that's kind of a fallacy, but it's the vibe I tend to get from the detractors.

Music would be so fucking boring if everything had to be pitch perfect and acceptable/"cool"-sounding all the time, with no room for the weird shit or distinct personalities, etc.

Author:  Abominatrix [ Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Yeah, and I'm one of those dudes who thinks the vocals on Stained Class are superior to those on Painkiller; actually that goes for the music too for that matter. Anyway, give me a charismatic and/or quirky singer over most things; of course I love Bruce Dickinson, Halford, Adams etc but I've got a very special place in my heart for the Bakers, Sheltons and Shelleys of this world. None of them are objectively bad singers, but they all have something that could potentially put off some listeners. So be it.

Author:  caspian [ Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Funnily enough I love Tim Baker (and let's be honest, he is probably an "objectively bad singer"; he's rarely in tune) but if you accept that someone is eccentric and/or quirky then you've similarly gotta accept that there'll be people who thoroughly hate it. Shelton, like Baker, is basically a binary choice- you love it or you hate it, and I'm in the latter camp, on the earlier albums anyway.

Empyreal- I'm imagining Manilla Road with Tim Owens. You know you want it. hahahaha

Author:  colin040 [ Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

tomcat_ha wrote:
At times he sounds a bit like hes presenting a radio programme from like 1930.


:lol:

I get getting turned off by Shelton's vocals. Still, even I like his vocals nowadays, although I prefer the grittier performance that became more present later on.

Take the performance on ''The Book of Skelos'' for instance. I like the calm first part in which Shelton sounds a bit more pleasant to the ears than he did earlier on. I also dig the more aggressive shrieks demonstrated further on in the track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7vVVolO4oY

Author:  Abominatrix [ Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Colin, that's for sure one of my favourite Road tunes and probably one of the keys to unlocking the band for me way back and making them become a favourite.

Still think the old Mark of the Beast recording has some of his best singing though.

Author:  colin040 [ Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I totally forgot to mention Mark of the Beast, although I'm not familiar with the earlier demo (?) recording. Shelton's cleaner style sounds pretty fantastic on some of the material on there.

Author:  Twisted_Psychology [ Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

tomcat_ha wrote:
i like the vocals on crystal logic but i also realize that they are weird and very nerdy. At times he sounds a bit like hes presenting a radio programme from like 1930.


Listening to Crystal Logic again and now I wish I could hear Mark Shelton narrate The March of War.

Eat Snacky S'mores

Author:  tomcat_ha [ Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I think crystal logic prob has my least favourite vocal performance by Mark of all their albums.
Also I've noticed that people who consider Crystal Logic the best MR album tend to be more generic retro metal fans while people who prefer the stuff after tend to be real MR fans.

Author:  caspian [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Apparently I'm a real MR fan :headbang:

Author:  tomcat_ha [ Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I already mentioned this to caspian but funny to see that i got the opposite experience with that argus album. First thought it was a bit samey from a songwriting pov but eventually with more plays more and more details emerged and my like for the album increased.

Author:  Five_Nails [ Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Great Crue review by Gasmask_Colostomy, the flow of it is so smooth that you don't realize that it sits on the longer side of things.

Edit: let me fix that because it reads worse than I meant it to be. That review is one of those that really shows your personality without having to surgically inject it, everything fits so well from that great STI title to the specifics of the salacious zipper and laugh soundbyte. It's just great writing overall.

One More Edit: That review of Skeletonwitch's "Beyond the Permafrost" is a fantastic show of how to balance analysis with personality. A bit like "milked till the udder bleeds" really captures just how ready to jump back and forth someone can be in a frenetic metal mindset compared to a proggy mood-making mindset. Funny thing is, I didn't just search out another one of this person's reviews, I was just listening to some Skeletonwitch at the time, checked out the reviews because I've had one barely worked on for a while, but Gasmask_Colostomy is just too damn prolific.

"The manner in which 'Sacrifice for the Slaughter God' leaps off its chuggy tracks after about a minute, bursts into a frantic melodic black metal riff and ploughs straight on into a glorious solo doesn't need to be described twice to make you want to hear it for yourself, nor do the ideal hooks of 'Baptized in Flame', or the flat-out icy rifforama of 'Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery', and so on."

I guess my review is on an indefinite hold until I know how the guitarist's jizz tastes just so I can better explain things.

Author:  gasmask_colostomy [ Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Five_Nails wrote:
Great Crue review by Gasmask_Colostomy, the flow of it is so smooth that you don't realize that it sits on the longer side of things.

Edit: let me fix that because it reads worse than I meant it to be. That review is one of those that really shows your personality without having to surgically inject it, everything fits so well from that great STI title to the specifics of the salacious zipper and laugh soundbyte. It's just great writing overall.

One More Edit: That review of Skeletonwitch's "Beyond the Permafrost" is a fantastic show of how to balance analysis with personality. A bit like "milked till the udder bleeds" really captures just how ready to jump back and forth someone can be in a frenetic metal mindset compared to a proggy mood-making mindset. Funny thing is, I didn't just search out another one of this person's reviews, I was just listening to some Skeletonwitch at the time, checked out the reviews because I've had one barely worked on for a while, but Gasmask_Colostomy is just too damn prolific.

"The manner in which 'Sacrifice for the Slaughter God' leaps off its chuggy tracks after about a minute, bursts into a frantic melodic black metal riff and ploughs straight on into a glorious solo doesn't need to be described twice to make you want to hear it for yourself, nor do the ideal hooks of 'Baptized in Flame', or the flat-out icy rifforama of 'Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery', and so on."

I guess my review is on an indefinite hold until I know how the guitarist's jizz tastes just so I can better explain things.


*blushes copiously*

Of course, if I had thought that Nate Garnett's jizz flavour was worth mentioning, I would have included it in the review.

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